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Certamente 2019 - What I've learned about my brain

We need to understand better the functioning of the limbic system and of the cerebral cortex in order to improve the quality of communication. From neuroscience theory to the practice of neuromarketing.

There are 100 billion neurons in the human brain that compose the cerebral cortex and that govern the most evolved part of our thinking. They are one of the greatest achievements of evolution: they have evolved over millions of years and make us capable of great endeavors. They brought us to the Moon and allowed us to create and develop the electronic technology that made it possible to invent computers, smartphones and internet.

But these neurons don’t provide for our survival: there is something older and more primordial that governs our instincts and our lives, that allows us to make quick decisions and satisfy our needs.

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The advantages of applying Neuroscience in everyday life

The American company BrainCo, which operates in the area of Neuroscience, has designed a new tool able to monitor people’s concentration by reading their brain signals.

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Syncronized with an app, this wearable device has been employed during a research carried out in China, on a sample of 10.000 kids from 10 to 17 years old, in order to monitor their attention. The device shows changes in the brain signals related to attention by changing the colour of a few lights placed on its front.

Devices like this, usually employed in the field of neuroscience, are gaining popuarity in the so called real life and may have positive ripercussions in real-time situations.

As a matter of fact, through this experiment a group of teachers could accurately identify scholars who used to get distracted during lessons and that therefore needed more attention and support. This truly helped scholars to improve their learning experience and academic performance.

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BrainSigns is a pioneer company in applying this kind of technologies in new areas. For several years the company, with his team of experts, has worked in the field of Neuromarketing for many national and international big companies.

Since Neuromarketing is a very innovative discipline, it often raises objections about measures’ accuracy and their application’s ethical, but such cases demonstrate that, with due caution, very significant results may be achieved.

BrainSigns safeguards measures’ accuracy and protects his subjects’ privacy. Certified and reliable devices, periodically tested in the validity of the recorded signal, are emplyed and great care is given to the guidelines indicated in NMSBA’s ethical code. By means of informed consents, respect for privacy and recorded signals’ anonymity are guaranteed.

 

 

 

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Christmas packaging: brand is more important than design

Product packaging can influence the buying decision process. Does Christmas packaging really help to increase sales?

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

The Department of Packaging in Cracow University of Economics conducted a study on seasonal packaging linked to particular periods of the year, specifically Christmas time. The main purpose of the research was analysing the consumers’ unconscious choices in front of similar products from different brands and with different packs.

DESCRIPTION OF THE RESEARCH

In the field of marketing, packaging is how to wrap a product according to customer expectations, desires and needs.

Often it happens that the consumer transfers the image of the package to the product and the brand.

Since 2012 we have witnessed a growth of seasonal packaging, associated with the festivity. Large companies, such as Starbucks and Coca Cola, began to take this opportunity to establish a connection with their consumers.

This research involved the participation of 300 subjects (60% women and 40% men) observed during the purchase of chocolates for Christmas shopping.

TOOLS

In order to measure preferences and distribution of the visual attention of consumers two tools were employed: a questionnaire and the Eye Tracker.

Through the questionnaire, the partecipants rated price, packaging and brand on a scale from "acceptable" to "not acceptable", according to their expectations. 

By means of the Eye Tracker Tobii X2-60, extensively used in Neuromarketing, the researchers measured the partecipants’ eye movements. In order to identify which elements captured their attention, the subjects were placed in front of a shelf while their reaction was being measured. 

RESEARCH RESULTS

The questionnaires’ results reported a positive behaviour towards the standard / traditional packaging compared to Christmas packaging. In particular, over 61% of women and about 77% of men evaluated the traditional packaging "highly acceptable".

Another interesting evidence, detected thanks to the questionnaires, refers to the shape of the pack: women are more attracted to packages that have particular / unusual shapes than men.

According to the consumers, the most important characteristics were the following:

  • The material
  • The size
  • The weight

Regarding colour, a preference for typical Christmas colours emerged: white with gold, white with red shades, red and green with gold.

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Consumers considered most important two elements: logo and product information.

The Eye Tracker’s results showed that seasonal graphic elements (related to Christmas) did not generate much attention.
Among all the tested brands, “Merci” with the standard packaging (without seasonal elements) was the one that captured the highest level of attention.

Moreover, smaller packs (even if strongly related to the Christmas theme) were not noticed by the participants.

According to the results brand recognition and brand loyalty turned out to make the difference, in combination with buying habits.

RESEARCH CONCLUSIONS

The integration of eye tracking data and questionnaire data showed a significant preference for simple and traditional packs on the majoriry of participants.

Specifically, consumers prefer larger and more transparent packaging, possibly with seasonal graphic elements presented in an essential way.

The advice is to take advantage of marketing opportunities remaining focused on key aspects, specifically brand recognition, which remains the most important aspect anyway.
Indeed the packaging must convey the image of the brand, before that of anniversaries or festivities.

The use of themed packaging can represent a benefit if one doesn’t lose sight of the product’s identity and of the brand.  

 

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BrainSigns at Focus Live- "The machines that read us inside"

BrainSigns' scientific director Fabio Babiloni, during his speech at Focus Live, talked about the fact that people often act in discordance with their rational mind.

Prof. Babiloni started by highlighting how the internal "conflicts", during our decision-making, are as old as the oldest testimonies we have in writing. In fact, we can find testimony of contradictory moods already in the Iliad and the Odyssey, when talking about the heroes’ characters.

To date, more or less 4 millenniums later (which are a blink of an eye from the evolutionary point of view), our brain, as an "hardware", has more or less remained similar to that of Ulysses and his fellows.

During the conference, by using a model of brain on a natural scale,  BrainSigns’ CSO also explained the structure of the subcortical area, responsible for several motor and decisional mechanism in our daily lives, and the relationships that this area has with the cerebral cortex.

Subsequently, Prof. Fabio Babiloni described why it is necessary to measure the cerebral and emotional activity of people during the purchasing processes and which are the "machines" that can do this. In fact, many of the subcortical structures that take decisions, "do not speak": namely they do not have access to the cortex that coordinates our speeches, and therefore cannot give "answers" to questions about the motivation of our choices. These machines are becoming less and less invasive and increasingly wearable.

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Prof. Babiloni has described some applications of these non-invasive "readings" of brain activity during consumption stimuli, reporting for instance the cases of measurement of brain activity during the testing of the TIM logo or during the evaluation of commercial ads.

The conference, in front of a very attentive audience, ended by discussing how this "reading" of our mental states can improve the use of services, not only for consumption but also in the transport field, in the near future.

 

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